Friday, April 16, 2010
My Heart Is Like a Zoo, written and illustrated by Michael Hall. Greenwillow, Harper. 2010. $22.50 ages 2 and up
"My heart is like a zoo -
eager as a beaver,
steady as a yak,
hopeful as a hungry heron
fishing for a snack..."
When I recently met Noah, the grandson of my very good friends, I took him this book. I know how he loves to paint, and is very creative. He is also learning new words each and every day, and becoming quite the conversationalist. I was thrilled when Grandma told me that his immediate reaction was to try to repeat each and every rhyme as they read it together.
I love the rhyming language and the similies that describe the many animals depicted on its pages. It has a knee-slapping rhythm and moves quickly from page to page encouraging the reader to change voice, tone and movement. In that way, it gives delight to the very young reader. It also adds new and sometimes unusual words to their repertoire. You will have some 'splainin' to do' when sharing.
Each animal is constructed using heart-shaped cut papers in the most wonderful ways. The colors are bold, the backgrounds provide contrast and kids will be interested in trying their hand at creating new and different images using the artist's style.
For budding numbers experts, how about trying to see just how many hearts Michael Hall used to create his first picture book for the young set.